A nationwide suicide prevention hotline means much of the country will shift to 10-digit dialing. The change happens this fall for the 513 and 859 area codes.
The FCC adopted rules in July 2020 establishing a nationwide 3-digit number - 988 - for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Calls to that number will be routed to the existing number - 1-800-273-TALK - which connects to a national network of crisis centers.
"To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, all covered providers will be required to implement 10-digit dialing in areas that both use seven-digit dialing and use 988 as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers," according to the FCC.
The requirement to change takes effect July 16, 2022. Cincinnati Bell says that means "if your area code is 513 or 859, you will need to dial the area code for all local calls starting on Oct. 24, 2021."
Permissive dialing begins April 24, meaning you should start using 10-digit dialing then to get used to it, though calls using only seven digits will still go through, according to the FCC.
Customers in 82 area codes in 36 states are covered by the change.
The FCC says the switch to 988 is to make it easier for Americans in crisis to reach the help they need, similar to the use of 911. The change was first proposed and submitted to Congress in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
When Will 513 Run Out Of Numbers?
The 513 area is projected to reach "exhaust" in 2023. That's the point at which a region runs out of unique seven-digit phone numbers. The area had been slated to get an "overlay," or secondary area code, in the early 2000s, but that plan was delayed because of a decline in demand for new numbers. According to the PUCO website, the 513 overlay will be 283 when it becomes necessary.